Come make waves: Pool reopening to put Brandeis back in swim
Starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, speeches, a free swim and races herald renewal of Linsey Sports Center; $1 million gift announced to support its programs
Jan. 19: Thelma Linsey today donated $1 million to support the programs and operations of the Joseph M. Linsey Sports Center, named after her late husband.
The Joseph M. Linsey Sports Center will reopen Saturday night with “Making Waves,” an evening of celebratory speeches by President Fred Lawrence and student leaders, an open swim for the campus community and races among competition-level swimmers.
The program begins at 9 p.m. in the aquatic center, on South Street next to Gosman Sports and Convocation Center.
The reopening follows completion of a $3.5 million renovation project during which heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were replaced, electrical systems and lighting were improved and the entire facility was updated.
Improvements were also made in accessibility and exterior appearance of the building, conversion of two squash courts into multipurpose rooms and aesthetic enhancement of the locker rooms.
“Students really wanted this back on campus. It is part of our identity,” said Student Union President Herbie Rosen ‘12. “It meant a lot to us when the email went out that it would reopen, so we really want to make a special event out of Making Waves.”
The facility closed in 2008 due to a host of mechanical shortcomings that the university could not afford to correct in the midst of the general financial difficulties of that time. It was then estimated that $2 million in repairs were needed to the HVAC system alone.
"It's wonderful for Brandeis, to see this facility brought back to life. The university community will enjoy the benefits for many years to come and I couldn't be more delighted," said Senior Vice President for Administration Mark Collins.
In March of last year, the Board of Trustees voted to modernize and upgrade the center in a way that would make it more representative of the quality of Brandeis University.
The Swim Club, formed by members of the swim team when the facility closed and the varsity program was suspended, will begin practicing this semester, according to Sports Information Director Adam Levin. An intramural sport, innertube water polo, will begin in March, he added.
Recreational swim hours will commence once the center opens.
Weekday lap swim hours, according to Aquatics Director Benjamin White, will be 7:15 to 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (7:45 p.m. on Fridays). Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while Sunday hours are noon to 1 p.m. (women only), 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. (men only).
The varsity program will be restored officially with practice on Sept. 24. Students interested in trying out for the team should contact head coach Mike Kotch by email or phone (781) 736-2589.
No meets have been scheduled yet, Kotch said, because other coaches “have asked me to wait until this current season is over before we firm things up. I do not anticipate any issues in creating a schedule, as preliminary talks with coaches have been positive.”
Kotch said he anticipates that the first meet will be in mid-to-late October.
Physical education and group fitness classes also will begin in fall 2012, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, White said, adding that a Sunday evening water aerobics session may be incorporated into the fitness programming.